Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a utility company engaged in natural gas distribution and transmission, propane distribution and marketing, advanced information services and other related businesses.Chesapeake’s three natural gas distribution divisions serve residential, commercial and industrial customers in southern Delaware, Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Florida. The Company’s natural gas transmission subsidiary operates an interstate pipeline system that transports gas from various points in Pennsylvania to Delaware and Maryland distribution divisions. “

Several other research firms also recently commented on CPK. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Allergan in a research report on Monday, June 10th. Maxim Group set a $7.00 target price on Eagle Bulk Shipping and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $97.31.

Chesapeake Utilities stock traded down $0.80 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $92.94. The stock had a trading volume of 79,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 60,198. The company has a current ratio of 0.30, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. The company has a market capitalization of $1.54 billion, a PE ratio of 28.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.27. Chesapeake Utilities has a one year low of $77.20 and a one year high of $96.27. The business has a 50 day moving average of $93.58.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $1.68 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.60 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $227.62 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $271.10 million. Chesapeake Utilities had a return on equity of 11.41% and a net margin of 8.27%. As a group, analysts anticipate that Chesapeake Utilities will post 3.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.20, for a total transaction of $235,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 4.18% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CPK. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 40.6% during the fourth quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 398 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $32,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares during the last quarter. Tradewinds Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Chesapeake Utilities by 80.0% in the first quarter. Tradewinds Capital Management LLC now owns 450 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Chesapeake Utilities in the first quarter worth approximately $83,000. Legal & General Group Plc increased its holdings in Chesapeake Utilities by 18.3% in the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,923 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $238,000 after purchasing an additional 453 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC bought a new stake in Chesapeake Utilities in the first quarter worth approximately $257,000. Institutional investors own 65.04% of the company’s stock.

About Chesapeake Utilities

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified energy company, engages in regulated and unregulated energy businesses. The company operates in two segments, Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment engages in the distribution of natural gas in Delaware, Maryland, and Florida; distribution of electricity in Florida; and transmission of natural gas on the Delmarva Peninsula and in Florida.

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